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Local Food Distribution Interviews, 2015



MLFC members interviewed food distributors in the Midlands, seeking to determine key barriers to local food distribution throughout South Carolina. The results of these interviews were published in a 2016 USC policy brief, Local Food Distribution in the SC Midlands: Identifying Barriers to and Opportunities for Food Producing Farmers Entering Wholesale Markets.


Interview Overview:

  • Increase food safety training supports and funding for farmer food safety audits. 

  • Educate farmers on general wholesale standards as well as standards for each, individual distributor in South Carolina.

  • Hire a Midlands organizer to build relationships between distributors and growers and coordinate crop planning according to farmer capacity and distributor needs. 

  • Conduct a feasibility study for the Midlands to access farmer capacity and needs as well as distributor capacity and needs for aggregation and distribution of locally farmed products at wholesale prices.

  • Organize local food aggregators such as farmer cooperatives or food nodes throughout the Midlands with the intention of selling to distributors, the developing food hub network in South Carolina, and other market opportunities.

(Welborn & Lamie, 2016)

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MLFC members conducted a survey with 77 farmers across the Midlands area of South Carolina. The results of this survey were published in October, 2014 in a USC policy brief, Growth and Representation:

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